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It's hard to believe, but....

After driving the car around for about 300 miles, adjusting the timing and carburetor,

getting new clamps (and 8 more Qts of oil), to hold the oil cooler hoses on so they won't blow off the first time I shift down, (which was really exciting because I was on the highway and had oil all over my windshield,

replacing the WRONG feed hose and fuel pump in the gas tank because some BOZO (the bozo I paid to replace the in-tank fuel pump) put the wrong hose between the pump and the outlet, (which dissolved and burned out the pump, clogged my fuel filter and stranded me 5 blocks from home...

and then......

While taking the car out for an EASY cruise and test drive, I happened to stop at a stoplight and what do I hear???

A KNOCKING SOUND! coming from the upper half of the engine.

I am naturally "overjoyed". ;-(E(

I carefully drove home, about 15 miles, and parked it in the garage.

I KNOW I haven't over-reved the engine because it's never been over 4K rpms. It has good (if not a bit low) oil pressure.
(about 10 psi @ 700rpm idle)
It shows 25-40 psi while driving.

My only guess is that perhaps the mechanical fuel pump on the engine has been secretly leaking fuel into the oil... ??

I changed the oil and added a couple small bottles of STP-type additives to the 10W-40 but it still starts knocking above 2k rpms.

I'm sick to DEATH of all these little "setbacks"!

I paid good money for a rebuilt short-block but I can't take it back because the 1-year warranty is long gone because it took me 2 years (fighting back pains and supplies) to put the engine IN the car.

Now I'm looking at pulling the whole engine back out (again after doing that about 5 times to assure a dent-free header system) and tearing it all down just to figure out what's been trashed.

Then comes the weeks and months of saving my pitiful level of "disposable income" to buy whatever it is that I need....
(Cam bearings? Cam? Pistons? who knows!)

Just kill me.